The Bridge - November/December 2014 - (Page 18)

It's as much about what you believe as it is what you do (Continued from page 16) on beliefs, even if we don't specifically set the process in the context of a formal analysis of "what we believe." For example, we may develop an approach based on what needs to be done at a given point in time and what we think will correct and improve a process or an individual's performance. If that style or approach has the desired result, then obviously we've adjusted what we and others do to match what we believe and what is required. We should occasionally take a conscious look at what we believe. It's much like a successful professional golfer who from time-to-time may radically alter their swing, not because the swing they have isn't working but because the change is necessary to fit with advances in equipment, changes in conditions or, most importantly, simply because the golfer has the desire to be even better. Like the pro golfer, we should regularly examine, test and hone the underlying beliefs that guide our managerial performance. In my own career at ALA, I began to realize after a number of years that my level of confidence and trust in the staff we had built had increased dramatically from what I felt at the outset. Because I had grown to believe in the people, I determined to consciously alter my management style to reflect the trust and confidence I felt in many members of the staff by letting go of some control, assigning more outright responsibilities and focusing on being a resource to those people as they grew even further in their positions. Oftentimes that meant simply defining an issue or a project and then simply saying "make it so" and letting them explore, sift through and find the best means to that end. I believed in the people, I believed in the correctness of my analysis, and I believed and was confident in the result it would (and did) achieve. What I did in that process was a direct function of what I had come to believe at a very deep level about a number of things. When you are in a management position in almost any organization, including a law firm, spending a little time being a "philosopher" about what's going on, what you do beyond the literal requirements of your job description, and what you believe and how those beliefs affect what you do - and what you expect from those you are leading, managing and interacting with - usually yields a pretty high return on the time invested. Reprinted with permission from "Soundings," the newsletter published by the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators, October 2010 18 Golden Gate Chapter November/December 2014 http://www.fso-outsourcing.com http://www.jsfin.com

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The Bridge - November/December 2014

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